Is this the end of the road for Paul Collingwood?

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Tom Maston of Maston in the Middle ponders if Paul Collingwood’s career is coming to its end.

Paul Collingwood has long been a staple of England’s cricket team. He holds the record for one-day international appearances in an England shirt, and only last year he captained the Twenty20 side to World Cup glory.

However, after retiring from test cricket at the end of the Ashes, he was left out of the team for the first one-day international against Australia in Melbourne. His recent poor form may mean there is no way back for the man who still holds the record for the best all-round one-day international performance.

Collingwood is no stranger to being on the brink of being discarded by the national team, but every time he has find a way to persuade the selectors to stick with him, mostly by scoring great centuries or picking up a crucial wicket. His fielding has also set the standard for the modern-day England team, with some of his memorable catches his main legacy.

Collingwood had a poor Ashes series to say the least, and his retirement at the end of the Sydney test match only seemed to spare him from being dropped. However, when this form carried on into the two Twenty20 international, the England selectors have found themselves with no option but to leave him out.

With only six matches left in the series, he may not have the chance to prove his worth ahead of February’s World Cup. England’s middle order looks very strong, with Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan looking as if they will be very difficult to dislodge when it comes down to their batting compared with Collingwood’s, especially on recent form.

However, after defeat in Melbourne, many commentators have said Collingwood’s medium pace may have come in handy, as England’s five frontline bowlers struggled under the floodlights. James Anderson and Stuart Broad should be back for the World Cup though, and this should strengthen the bowling attack, leaving Collingwood even more out in the cold.

It remains to be seen whether Paul Collingwood will be given the chance to represent his country in the forthcoming World Cup, but seeing him on the podium as part of a winning England team would be a great way for him to bow out of international cricket.

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